More shuffling of pitchers within the NL Central as the Brewers agreed to a $42 million deal with a now former Cardinal, intellectually backward righthander, Jeff Suppan.
Between them, Suppan and new Cub, Jason Marquis, accounted for more than 26% of the Cardinals' innings pitched last season, not to mention Suppan's World Series heroics. Still, it doesn't sound like the World Champions are panicking.
According to this article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, GM Walt Jocketty is interested in re-signing Mark Mulder and Jeff Weaver, but is otherwise content to let other teams spend more than he believes this year's free agents are worth. Currently, the Cards' prospective rotation includes Chris Carpenter, Kip Wells and Anthony Reyes, plus converted relievers, Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper. Jocketty says he'd rather hold onto his money now and retain some financial flexibility should he need to pick up a Jeff Weaver or Preston Wilson type at mid-season next year as he did last.
Here's what they're saying about the deal on the Brewers page at mlb.com:
"...Suppan's key asset is his durability. He has made at least 31 regular-season starts in each of his last eight seasons and averaged 193 innings over that span. The 12-year veteran owns a career record of 106-101 with a 4.60 ERA in 317 games, and his 44 wins over the last three seasons is tied for ninth in the Majors during that time.
His signing also eliminates one of the Brewers' nemeses. Suppan is 12-2 with a 3.30 ERA in 21 appearances against Milwaukee, including 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA in seven career starts at Miller Park."
The durability argument sounds a lot like the case the Cubs made for signing Marquis. (Interesting how Dave Duncan has been credited for helping Suppan fulfill his potential, but blamed for not getting through to Marquis.)
As for the Brewers eliminating one of their "nemeses," the author doesn't suggest that actually motivated the signing, but I have to wonder. Melvin wouldn't be the first exec to be drawn to a guy largely because of how he performed against the GM's team.